Shaker History Tour

This tour features historic sites throughout Shaker Heights and Shaker Square. It provides an overview and introduction to the history of the city and its neighborhoods and is suitable for walking, biking, or driving. It supplements the Bike Shaker 2020: Ride through History developed by the Shaker Historical Society, the City of Shaker Heights Human Relations Taskforce, and the Shaker Heights Development Corporation.

North Union Shaker Village

In 1811 Jacob Russell moved his family from their home in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, into the wilderness of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Upon his arrival, Russell purchased 475 acres in Warrensville Township, founded by the Daniel Warren family…

Jacob Russell Grave

On the north side of South Park Boulevard, just east of Lee Road, there is a solitary grave which is the final resting place of an American Revolutionary War soldier--Jacob Russell. Next to the grave is a large stone with a bronze plaque…

Shaker Gateway Park

On September 21, 1948, the Shaker Historical Society commemorated its one-year anniversary with the unveiling of a bronze plaque on the S.W. corner of Lee Road and Shaker Boulevard to mark the location of the Center Family of the North Union colony…

Horseshoe Lake

In 1852, the North Union Shakers dammed Doan Brook for the second time, generating power for a new woolen mill and creating what would later become known as Horseshoe Lake. The new dam symbolized the continued growth of the North Union community,…

Lynnfield Road Rapid Transit Station

Opened on April 11, 1920, the Lynnfield passenger station was constructed as the final stop along the South Moreland (now Van Aken) line of the Cleveland Interurban Railroad in Shaker Village. Besides a few homes located in the vicinity along Kinsman…

Winslow Road Historic District

In the late 1920s, Winslow Road was referred to as "the street of the brides" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as it "attracts more newly married couples of social prominence than any other street in Greater Cleveland." A 1929…

Shaker Barricades

“Entering Apartheid Shaker: Home of Barricades” was the message commuters read as they drove under a large banner while entering Shaker Heights along the Cleveland border in September of 1990. The banner was put up by Cleveland city councilman…

Chelton Park

Convening in Chelton Park during the first week of August, 2016, bands of volunteers joined artists Gary Williams and Robin Robinson to take part in the final stage of a community art endeavor that aspired to beautify the public space. A bleak…

Warrensville West Cemetery

In the late 1950s, the Shaker Historical Society undertook the daunting task of creating a memorial marker to tell the story of a small unmarked burial ground commonly referred to as the "Lee Road Cemetery" or the "Old Manx…

Kingsbury Building

From its founding, Shaker Village was planned as a highly-regulated residential district. Promotional literature distributed by the Van Sweringen Co. offered prospective land buyers the security of a community that existed outside the influence of…

Shaker Heights City Hall

William J. Van Aken (1884-1950) served as Mayor of Shaker Heights from 1915 until his death in 1950, overseeing its transition from rural farmland to one of the nation's wealthiest and most well-regarded suburbs. The opening of a new city hall…

Moreland Elementary School

The Van Sweringen brothers knew that a premier suburb required a premier public school system. So, it was not surprising that, in 1913, just one year after the incorporation of Shaker Heights, its Board of Education began implementing the Vans'…

Ludlow Community Association

In 1956, an explosion disturbed the usually quiet suburban neighborhood of Ludlow. Someone had planted a bomb in the garage of John G. Pegg, an African American lawyer who was building a new house on Corby Road. The racial attack sparked a biracial…

Plymouth Church

In March 1850, just months months before passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, thirty members of Cleveland's Old Stone Church left their congregation to form what would later become Plymouth Church. The debate over slavery -- illegal in Ohio, but…

Shaker Square Historic District

Shaker Square is neither located in Shaker Heights nor shaped like a square, but ask for directions to the coffee shop at "Cleveland Octagon" and you'll most likely receive only confused looks in return. Shaker Square has always been…

Lower Shaker Lake

On a July night in 1921, a group of "Cleveland hoodlums" fought with members of the Shaker Heights Police Department after being ordered out of Lower Shaker Lake. The young men were not happy about being told that they could not swim in…

Shaker Town Center

The history of commercial activity at the intersection of Chagrin Boulevard and Lee Road goes back more than 150 years to when the area was still part of Warrensville Township. In or about 1866, at the northeast corner of the intersection--where…

The Shaker Lakes Freeway Fight

The Shaker Lakes are man-made bodies of water created by the North Union Shaker Community in the mid-nineteenth century to power a series of mills. When the Shakers left and their lands became part of the suburb of Shaker Heights, the lakes remained,…